Rental deposit no damage insurance

Rental deposit no damage insurance

2013-07-29 07:51

Cape Town - A rental deposit does not often cover all the damages to a rental property, according to a recent survey by Rentshield,which specialises in rentals.

Only a mere 3% of respondents said that the rental deposit always covers damages to property.

The survey found landlords or rental agents have to spend most of their time (72%) on administrative matters relating to the rental properties. This is followed by maintenance (62%), vetting of potential tenants (40%), lease renewals (34%), legal procedures (31%), evictions (29%) and deposit disputes (24%).

Letting and managing a property requires a lot of time and commitment, therefore it is of critical importance that the vetting process of potential tenants is fully complied to, according to Marlon Shevelew, director of Marlon Shevelew and Associates, who specialises in tenant and consumer law.

"The objective of the vetting process is to empower the rental agent to make an informed decision on behalf of the landlord as to the calibre of the prospective tenant," he said.

Incoming and outgoing inspections are essential and compulsory actions that allow for the deposit, upon expiration of the lease period, to be utilised to cater for any damages to the property caused during the lease.

The deposit itself is an amount which is held by either the agent or landlord as security that the premises will be restored to the landlord in the same condition as at commencement of the lease, except for fair wear and tear.

It’s important to note that, according to the Rental Housing Tribunal, if the landlord does not conduct the outgoing inspection in the presence of the tenant, it is deemed an acknowledgement that the property is in a proper state of repair, and the landlord will be responsible for refunding the tenant’s deposit in full, plus any interest.
This being said, if a rental agent places a tenant in a property and the tenant has not been vetted thoroughly, it could be seen as a dereliction of duty on behalf of the rental agent.

In such circumstances the landlord, in terms of section 54 of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), would have the option of asking the rental agent to make good on its breach or to refund a portion of the commission for their inability to attend to services correctly.

- Fin24

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  • Hennie van Deventer - 2013-07-29 07:59

    More often than not rental agents abuse this and look for any excuse not to pay back a tenant's deposit. The law is very clear on this. The rental agents (or owner) must make an appointment at least three days before the lease expire and go through the house with the tenant. This will allow the tenant to fix any problems. But, this do not happen. Only after the tenant has left do they come back with all kinds of excuses.

      Francois-Jacques Malan - 2013-07-29 08:14

      This happened exactly to me, I moved out of a place once and the landlord never showed up for an inspection. We cleaned it up even washing the walls with sugar soap etc. A few weeks later he only pays back part of our deposit, with no interest, claiming he had to replace missing keys and bathplugs etc. The bugger stole a just a couple of hundred rand. I should have pursued it more but I wasn't sure how to. Does anyone know? For the sake of other people reading this.

      Goldie Saturnz - 2013-07-29 08:43

      you can try the rental tribunal although I hear they are pretty incompetent or you can go through the courts- the small claims court covers claims of up to R12 000 I think.

      Hennie van Deventer - 2013-07-29 08:47

      at the expiration of the lease the landlord and tenant must arrange a joint inspection of the dwelling at a mutually convenient time to take place within a period of three days prior to such expiration with a view to ascertaining if there was any damage caused to the dwelling during the tenant’s occupation thereof and also: Failure by the landlord to inspect the dwelling in the presence of the tenant as contemplated in paragraphs (e) or (~) is deemed to be an acknowledgement by the landlord that the dwelling is in a good and proper state of repair, and the landlord will have no further claim against the tenant vho must then be refunded. in terms of this subsection. the full deposit plus interest by the landlord;

      Hennie van Deventer - 2013-07-29 08:48

      You can complain at:

  • Goldie Saturnz - 2013-07-29 08:17

    just as another addition, if your deposit is only one month then it is highly likely that it won't cover damages, especially if you rushed to get a tenant and took the first one. It also helps to get insurance, generally insurance for the house will cover damages by tenants- although make sure to confirm this with your insurance provider. There are also other products that can protect you should the tenant damage your property. In conclusion, if you are out of pocket because of damages caused to your property, it is your own fault as you failed to properly protect yourself.

  • Chris Small - 2013-07-29 10:39

    The thing that irks me most is how the rental agents charge all the service fees. Service fee for doing the initial inspection, service fee for doing the exit inspection. Service fee if there is anything they need to do. Is the monthly fee they get not suppose to cover their expenses? Charge you R250 to call a cleaning company. Want to charge R350 for getting someone to replace 2 light bulbs. Its an absolute disgrace how tenants are ripped off. They will do anything not to repay your deposit.

  • Martin Goodman - 2013-07-29 11:07

    have a look at Rentshield's 0 Deposit solution......It makes so much sense for every one involved.

  • Marc Lunau - 2013-07-29 23:32

    I looked at Rentshield a while back and immediately was able to punch several holes into it. I won't touch it as it opens a can of worms.

      Goldie Saturnz - 2013-08-27 11:20

      what sort of problems Marc?

  • Kristen Robyn Petersen - 2013-08-28 16:07

    In my case, I completed the inspection together with the landlord, who was happy with the way we maintained the place. My deposit was held with an agency in a trust, they placed us in the property but they failed to attend the inspection. I requested their presence as a third party but they failed to show up. The Landlord confirmed that we are to receive full deposit plus the interest. We should have received it within 7 days. This exit inspection took place on the 1st of August 2013, today is the 28th August 2013. I keep hunting them for my deposit and I get told false promises. I have submitted my case to the Tribunal but can anyone tell me whether, agencies or landlords receive a fine for breaking the law and ignoring a tenant? Surely I should receive some sort of compensation as I've taken my own pay check to finance my new deposit and the lengthy process of the Tribunal might only get my deposit back but where is the justice in these types of cases. Has anyone gone through this before? I'd love to hear your comments.

  • Pamela Jane Nathanson - 2013-12-18 22:29

    the previous landlord we rented from did not do an inspection and refused to pay our deposit back

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